We Were Eight Years in Power

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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president." This book also examines the new voices, ideas and movements for justice that emerged over this period'and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation's old and unreconciled history.

Museum Story

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the nation's largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting, and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. Established by an Act of Congress in 2003, it is the culmination of decades of efforts to establish a national museum that promotes and highlights the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected close to 37,000 objects.


  • 400 pages
  • Hardcover
  • 9.5"h. x 6.5"w.
  • Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates